Review by Sean Boelman
(L to R) Chloë Grace Moretz as the voice of Wednesday Addams, Charlize Theron as the voice of Morticia Addams, Oscar Isaac as the voice of Gomez Addams, and Javon Walton as the voice of Pugsley Addams in THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2, directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.
2019’s The Addams Family was a surprise hit, making over $100 million dollars at the domestic box office, so it’s no surprise that a sequel was greenlit quickly. However, unlike most animated films that were rushed into production, The Addams Family 2 is quite watchable, as there is genuinely some charm to be found even if everything is by the book.
The movie follows the eponymous altogether ooky family as they set out on a road trip in an attempt to renew their connection with one another when they are suddenly threatened to be torn apart. Whereas the 2019 film was pretty much a bunch of Addams hijinks, this has a much more structured plot, with a road movie first half and what is effectively a superhero movie finale.
The pacing of both of these movies is very off because it seems like the storytelling is constructed more out of an obligation to hit all of the beats than a natural flow. As such, the hour-and-a-half runtime feels stuffed to the brim with content. That may not be a bad thing for young kids with short attention spans, but even the older single-digits may find this to be a bit too hyperactive to be its own good.
As is always the case with the franchise, the main message here is about being oneself and embracing what makes you unique, but this film takes it to a deeper emotional level. The movie explores the idea of changing one’s family, and while it doesn’t go into much depth (and one shouldn’t expect it to), it’s a very sweet thought.
(L to R) Chloë Grace Moretz as the voice of Wednesday Addams, Oscar Isaac as the voice of Gomez Addams, Charlize Theron as the voice of Morticia Addams, Nick Kroll as the voice of Uncle Fester, Javon Walton as the voice of Pugsley Addams, and Conrad Vernon as the voice of Lurch in THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2, directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.
The character development in the film is heavily lopsided. Wednesday is the only character in the movie who has much of an arc, but with this large of an ensemble and such a short runtime, there isn’t much room for each character to shine. The antagonist of the film is very cliched, though, and ultimately could have been cut out entirely.
Most of the cast of the first movie returned, with the exception of Finn Wolfhard, who is replaced by Javon Walton as Pugsley. This substitution isn’t very distracting, and Walton gives a very average performance. It can be hard to recognize some of the very famous actors giving voice performances here, as they are speaking so heavily in character, but Nick Kroll and Oscar Isaac are definitely the highlights.
The animation style here still isn’t great. It looks like cheap 3D computer animation, which is made even worse by the fact that the gap between the release of the first and second films is a mere two years. It’s a shame because the older versions of this franchise are so visually fun, and this feels very indistinct.
The Addams Family 2 isn’t a great animated movie, although it is ever so slightly an improvement over its predecessor. It’s the type of family movie that is made primarily with younger kids in mind, and will leave most other viewers feeling very neutral towards it.
The Addams Family 2 is now in theaters and on VOD.